How to Get a Job in Film & TV: Discover Your Dream Job

28 Jan

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How to Get a Job in Film & TV:

discover_thumbHi there, in Part One I pointed out that specialisation is CRUCIAL. You have to know what you want to do and then pour all your attention in that direction. The industry loves people who treat their responsibilities and skills with respect. This is a simple exercise that works alongside my other blogs on getting a job in film & TV, to help those who might still be unsure about where they want to work in the industry.

Some of you may already have a vision of what your ideal job would be, that’s fantastic; others may need to explore all the possibilities. Regardless of which person you are, doing this exercise will either help define where you might fit in, or solidify your ideas about your future.

Where to Start?!
When you see the ‘credits’ at the end of a film or TV show, the list of people who have worked on the production seems endless, you may wonder what all these people actually do! It’s a very good question! But for every TV documentary, light entertainment show, TV drama or feature film, there is an army of production staff and crew that work tirelessly behind the scenes to make it all happen.

There’s a lot of options out there, but don’t panic! If you’re not sure what you really want to do then just tune in to the signals around you, study your behaviour, attitude, likes and dislikes. I always say to people, whatever job exists outside the industry, exists inside the industry (but I believe even better) for example:

  • Want to be a interior designer? Why not become a set decorator?
  • Want to work in cosmetics or hair design? Why not become a hair and make up designer?
  • Want to work in a managerial position? Why not think about becoming a personal assistant, 1st AD, production manager?
  • How about a carpenter or electrician, they exist in the industry too! There really is a job for everyone, from medics, photographers and caterers to directors, actors and camera operators and everything in between.

Still not sure? Here’s a quick and simple 3 step exercise that will help you get focused and figure out what might suit you.

Photo Credit: My Travelers (Flickr)

Photo Credit: My Travelers (Flickr)

Step 1: Research the Industry

It’s really important to try and learn as much as possible about all the various jobs that exist within the industry. Doing this will help you match your desires to a specific role later on.

Start to compile a file with your own research notes, along with additional material like industry magazine articles, photographs, specialist books and online information; anything that will give you a clearer understanding of the work people do in film and TV. As you discover more about the various job opportunities you will instinctively begin to feel where you might fit in. This isn’t really work, it’s just continuing to develop and understand your interests.

Step 2: Write down the answers to the following questions:

Don’t be held back, answer these questions truthfully and honestly – remember this is your life, what would you do if you couldn’t fail?

  • What excites me the most about the industry?
  • Am I artistic and creative or do I prefer supervising, managing and organizing people?
  • What tools do I have available to find out more about jobs in the film and TV industry? (e.g. Internet, books, industry magazines etc).
  • How can I use these tools to research jobs?
  • As I learn more about the industry what do I most enjoy studying? Which particular aspect of the industry do I feel drawn towards?
  • Would I like to work outdoors on location or would I prefer to be in an office environment or studio?
  • Would I be prepared to travel and work away from home?
  • What job would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?
Photo Credit: Jonathan Kos (Flickr)

Photo Credit: Jonathan Kos (Flickr)

Step 3: Follow your heart

Here’s the most important thing of all. When you think about doing a particular job, do you feel excited and passionate about it or indifferent and detached? If you feel like you are drawn towards a particular type of job then carry on researching it. If however, you suddenly find something doesn’t seem to fit with you, and thinking about it makes you feel impassive, then it’s time to take a step back and consider other options.

Make sure your feelings are not due to your beliefs about whether you can achieve something or not.

Ask yourself, ‘Would I really like to do this job?’.
Not, ‘Am I capable of doing this job?’

Too many people miss out on the life they deserve because they’ve been conditioned to believe it’s not possible. Well I’m here to tell you that’s not the case. We each have the ability to create whatever life we want and that includes getting a job in a prestigious, exciting and creative industry. I did it and I know you can too. So please, continue to pursue your dream!

In the next part I’ll be talking about just that – dreaming. “How’s that going to help?!” I hear you cry. It’s a proven fact that seeing your future with absolute clarity will help you get there – this isn’t some ‘hocus pocus’ nonsense, top sportsmen and woman don’t just practice in their arena, they spend time picturing the outcome they desire to help motivate and condition themselves to succeed: you aren’t making a wish – but what you are doing, is starting to get into the mindset of someone who will achieve their goals, it will open your eyes to the possibilities around you and will get you thinking about how you can make the most of what you’ve already got available to get you on your way… plus it’s great fun.

See you there!

If you’ve enjoyed this, please please share it with your friends on facebook or twitter or leave a comment below – it means a huge amount 🙂

Free Spirit Film & TV
Film, TV & Online Video Production.

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If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy:

Lighting for Film & TV:
10 Tips for Making Your Subject Look Good

Lighting for Film & TV Part 2:
3 Point Lighting

3 Simple Tips for Filming Without Lights (Interior)

3 Simple Rules for Filming Without Lights (Exterior)

2 Responses to “How to Get a Job in Film & TV: Discover Your Dream Job”

  1. tellytype March 13, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    Good list of questions under point 2 – food for thought even for those of us who’ve been working in TV for a while!


  1. How To Get a Job in Film & TV – Importance of Specialisation « Through The Lens Film School - January 28, 2013

    […] For those of you who know exactly what you want to do in your career, part one ends here! But if you’re still not sure about your career, I’ve put together a very quick and easy exercise to help you determine your “Dream Job” in the industry. Head here to give it a go! […]

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